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Need to encourage private agencies in mineral exploration: Report

·2-min read

New Delhi, Sep 9 (PTI) Mineral exploration in India continues to be under the public sector which is a critical challenge being faced by the mining sector and there is a need to encourage private agencies for exploration, a report has suggested.

The present method of auction can be used for exploration and mining rights for surficial minerals, where the public agencies have explored sufficiently to date, the report released by an NGO, Indicus Foundation, said.

'The critical challenge facing the Indian mining sector today is that mineral exploration continues to be under the public sector, with GSI and MECL undertaking exploratory work,' it said.

It further said that even though the policy regime changed in 2015, mining in India is still hit by earlier legal sanctions.

'For instance, the Supreme Court ruled a blanket ban on mining in Goa in February 2018 and only recently...did it finally allow the transportation of already mined iron ore. The gap of two years in allowing the transportation of already mined ore...have hit investor confidence deeply,' it said.

It further said that the mining growth and exploration activity are spiralling down and approvals are stuck.

While this affects mining activity, it also prevents the entry and operations of mining units that are trying to build sustainable practices.

'Mining is too important a sector to be left to status quo and poor decision-making to take over. It has a massive impact on the economy both in terms of employment and in terms of ensuring a low-cost sustainable economy.

'It is for the government to ensure that such an ecosystem is created for it to grow and contribute to the maximum and environmental norms maintained,' Indicus Foundation Founder Laveesh Bhandari said in a statement.

Indicus Foundation is a non-profit organisation that works in the environment and sustainable livelihood domain. PTI SID MR